If it’s a good idea for cops, it should be a good idea for teachers.
I’m talking about body cameras, of course. Beginning after Michael Brown was shot dead by police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, the left began pushing hard for body cameras so we could be sure the men and women of law enforcement were acting appropriately.
Now, one parents group in Nevada wants educators to start wearing the cameras to make sure no critical race theory gets taught in the classroom.
According to The Associated Press, the move comes as the Washoe County School District considers altering its “K-5 curriculum to include more teaching about equity, diversity and racism.”
“Opponents say the proposal would lead to the teaching of ‘critical race theory,’ which seeks to reframe the narrative of American history. Critics say such lesson plans teach students to hate the United States,” the AP reported Friday.
Whether Ibrim X. Kendi-lite is going to be coming to kindergarten classes in Washoe County — home to Reno — is unclear. Even the school district seems a bit fuzzy on the matter; after a packed hours-long meeting on Tuesday filled mostly with opponents to the planned changes, KUNR-FM reported the district formed a task force to review the materials in the social justice curriculum.
The Nevada Family Alliance wants a bit more than a review, though. They say they want body cameras on teachers, according to the AP.
“You guys have a serious problem with activist teachers pushing politics in the classroom, and there’s no place for it, especially for our fifth graders,” said Karen England, executive director for the Nevada Family Alliance, during the Tuesday meeting.
After pushing bodycams during the meeting, she issued a longer statement in defense of the plan.
“Creating a record that could be viewed by appropriate parties, if necessary, might be the best way to urge teachers to stick to traditional teaching,” she said in a Wednesday statement, according to Newsweek.
“We expect that the teachers’ unions will reject this proposal immediately,” she added.
“But we should ask, what they have to hide? If police do a better job interacting with the public when they are wearing body cameras, how much more important is it for teachers to do the same?”
This had the reaction you might expect on Twitter:
HOLD UP…LET ME GET THIS RIGHT…A GROUP IN NEVADA WANTS TEACHERS TO WEAR BODY CAMERAS AS A DETERRENT TO TEACHING CRITICAL RACE THEORY???!!! Someone told me this yesterday and I thought they were being sarcastic. Oh no….they weren’t. https://t.co/24Mg8ZZsZv
— Principal Kafele (Baruti K. Kafele) (@PrincipalKafele) June 12, 2021
Just when you think the discussion on teaching equity and privilege can’t get any more ridiculous… the Nevada Family Alliance proposes to have BODY CAMERAS ON TEACHERS TO PREVENT “IDEOLOGICAL INDOCTRINATION” ???
— Raphael Mimoun (@RaphMim) June 11, 2021
Yes, and they got you tweeting about it.
“Critical Race Theory is nearly EVERYWHERE in the New Curriculum,” the organization says on its webpage.
“The Washoe County School District allowed the citizens of Washoe County to have a very limited glance of the proposed social justice curriculum for grades K-5 last month. Board President Dr. Angela Taylor has vehemently denied the Benchmark Advance curriculum contains ANY aspects of Critical Race Theory. Clearly, Dr. Taylor has not viewed the curriculum, or she does not know what Critical Race Theory is.”
Instead, the group says, they “have found critical race theory in our public schools as early as kindergarten.”
There are materials from the curriculum on the website, although it’s difficult to say whether they contain critical race theory without more context.
The teaching materials certainly lean hard left and are needlessly woke, if you had any doubt (here’s the fifth-grade module), but the lack of a clear perspective of where this fits in the curriculum makes it difficult to judge whether it constitutes critical race theory.
What’s clear from what’s happening in Washoe County, however, is that to every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction.
Like so many school districts over the past year, the Washoe County School Board decided it needed to go for woke. I can imagine there were plenty of Zoom meetings where educators threw around words like “equity,” “reckoning,” “systematic racism” and “privilege.”
They adopted a social justice curriculum and thought, given the environment, times had changed and this is what parents expected of them.
They were wrong — and parents are waking up to the fact that critical race theory is injecting itself into a heavy share of social justice curricula.
The turning point seemed to be in Southlake, Texas, where a school board election in May drew national attention after candidates united against their school district’s critical race theory curriculum won a landslide victory.
The program was adopted after a racial incident in 2018. Hannah Smith, one of the winning candidates, told Fox News that in the wake of the incident, “[o]ur school district convened a district diversity council, which was comprised of about 60 parents and community members. And they met together to talk about ideas about how our school district could respond to this issue.
“In theory, it was a really great idea, but unfortunately we had a handful of administrators in the school district that decided to push down into the plans some really radical ideas, and that’s when parents really revolted and said, ‘We don’t want this kind of radical divisive policy taught to our kids.’”
The district diversity council didn’t just create a mandatory diversity and sensitivity curriculum for students and faculty, but also instituted a system to track microaggressions — subtle incidents of low-key racial bias which are often perceived and unintentional — and recommended the school district hire a “director of equity.”
The school board elections were a resounding repudiation of that approach.
This would probably be easier in Washoe County than, say, putting body cameras on teachers. So would banning critical race theory from being taught, as some states have done.
However, if you need to draw attention to how woke your school board has gone in the past year, you could do a lot worse than what the Nevada Family Alliance did.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.